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Environmental Health
~ Ratonga Tiaki Taiao

noise microphone

Bird Scarers

Hastings District Council often receives complaints regarding noise from bird scare devices used on orchards in the District. If used thoughtlessly, bird scare devices can cause serious annoyance and disturbance to the public.

The Hastings District Plan Section 25.1.7A Noise sets down rules for the use of bird scare devices on how and when they should be operated as well as how to avoid causing a nuisance.

Rules

1. Gas Guns

There shall be no device operated between half an hour after sunset and half an hour before sunrise.

Devices shall not operate unless a legible notice is securely fixed to the road frontage of the site in which the device is to operate stating the name, address and telephone number of the person(s) responsible for the operation of the device.

There are no restrictions on events or individual shots for sound levels less than 85dBCpeak either:

  • At any point within the boundary of any Residential Zone.
  • At any point within the notional boundary of any noise sensitive activity in a Rural Zone.

Where sound levels are greater than 85dBCpeak but less than the limits specified in (e) below, measured at any point within the boundary of any Residential Zone, or within the notional boundary of a noise sensitive activity within a Rural Zone, then:

There shall not be more than 4 events in any 1 hour period, or a total of 12 individual shots in any 1 hour period, received:

    • At any point within the boundary of any Residential Zone.
    • At any point within the notional boundary of any noise sensitive activity within a Rural Zone

Note: For the purposes of this rule, 'event' includes no more than 3 individual shots within any one minute period.

There shall only be one device per every 4ha of the site, provided that:

  • In the case of a single site less than four hectares in area, one device shall be permitted.
  • In the case where a site is over 4ha, but does not meet the next 4ha an additional device shall be permitted.

Note: As an example, a site of up to 4ha is permitted one device, a site between 4ha and an 8ha is permitted two devices, a site between 8ha and 12ha is permitted three devices and so on.

Sound levels generated by an audible bird scaring device shall not exceed:

  • 100dBCpeak at any point within any boundary of a Residential Zone.
  • 115dBCpeak at any point within the notional boundary of any noise sensitive activity in a Rural Zone.

Note: As an indicative guide only, a setback distance of approximately 420 metres is required to achieve the limit in Rule 25.1.7A.1(e)(i) and a setback distance of approximately 150 metres is required to achieve the limit in Rule 25.1.7A.1(e)(ii) where a device is directed towards the respective boundary. A device directed away from the respective boundary is likely to comply with a lesser setback distance.

2. Firearms

  • Any firearm shall not be used for the purposes of bird scaring between half an hour after sunset and half an hour before sunrise.

3. Audible Avian Distress Alarms

  • There shall be no device operated between half an hour after sunset and half an hour before sunrise.
  • Devices shall not operate unless a legible notice is securely fixed to the road frontage of the site in which the device is to operate stating the name, address and telephone number of the person(s) responsible for the operation of theĀ  device.
  • Sound emitted from the device shall not exceed 50 dB LAeq (15 min) when measured at any point within the notional boundary of any rural dwelling or at any point within a Residential Zone.
  • No device shall be placed in such a manner that in any public place receives noise exceeding 80 dB LAfmax.

Contact

For more information on bird scare devices in the Hastings District, contact the Environmental Planning team at the Council. Alternatively, come to the Council's main civic administration building and speak the planner on duty.

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